12-21-2012 School Board Budget Workshop


The School Board of Brevard County, Florida met in a Budget Workshop on Friday, December 21, 2012, at the Educational Services Facility, 2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera, Florida. Notice of the meeting was advertised in the Florida Today newspaper on Friday, December 14, 2012. The affidavit of publication with a copy of the ad attached is filed in the Affidavit File in the Board Office.

Opening Exercises
1. Opening Exercises

Minutes: Chairman Dr. Barbara Murray called that School Board Budget Worksop to order at 9:04 a.m.

Roll Call
2. Roll Call


Members Present: Dr. Michael Krupp, Dr. Barbara Murray,  Karen Henderson, Andy Ziegler

Amy Kneessy was absent do to health issues.

Pledge of Allegiance
3. Pledge of Allegiance

Minutes: Dr. Murray led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Order of Business
4. Order of Business
Attachment: 2013-2014 Budget Reduction Target - Doc Cam 1.pdf
Attachment: 2013-2014 Budget Increase - FEFP and Categorical - Doc Cam 2.pdf
Attachment: Budget Reductions 2013-14.pdf

Chairman Dr. Barbara Murray stated that the purpose of this workshop is for the superintendent and staff to present in detail with full explanation, items listed on the 2013-14 Proposed Budget Cuts & Revenue Enhancements list.

Prior to starting his presentation, Dr. Binggeli let the audience know that the high school grades would be released.  He noted that the high school grades went up this year. Brevard now has 12 A’s and 4 B high schools.

Dr. Binggeli articulated how and why the district has a 30.7 million dollar target figure and how strategically the district will use any new money that might come to us later in the year.

Dr. Binggeli stated that the State Board has requested between 5.5 to 6 million. He stated that if new money becomes available this first 1.6 million dollars has be placed into the Board contribution to Health Insurance Trust. Next, would be any required cuts over 30.7 million and next would be 4 million in the Capital Budget.

Dr. Brian Binggeli presented to the School Board and the viewing audience the 2013-14 Proposed Budget Cuts & Revenue Enhancements.

Dr. Binggeli went line by line through the proposed cuts and spoke about the estimated savings to the district.

While covering line Item 20, which is to reduce six 12-month Theatre Manager Contract to  10-months and allow for flex scheduling, Ms. Henderson suggested that if the district has a significant increase in dollars by renting out the facilities, what is done with the money and why is that not used for salaries.  She requested that the Board be provided with the type of income the Theatre Managers are getting.

Chairman Dr. Barbara Murray reminded the Board that there are some line items near the top that the Board will have to make decisions on fairly soon, such as choice fees and corridor bussing, because the parents and staff are having to make decisions. She noted that some of the other cuts can be delayed until we receive more information about the state revenue.

Chairman Dr. Barbara Murray called for a break at 10:34 a.m.
The workshop was reconvened at 10:51 a.m.

Chairman Dr. Murray stated that the Board will go through the cut list line by line and  if the Board has any questions, the Superintendent and Staff will respond to the best of their ability.

Line 4 Reduce Telephone Maintenance Budget:  Ms. Henderson questioned why the district is still paying for long distance calls and if there is anything that could be done to help save 20,000 dollars. Gino Butto, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Technology, stated that in the long term plans, the district is looking into Voice Over IP (VOIP) so that we can have a lot more control of our environment. He said unfortunately, it takes capital dollars to get it off the ground and implemented.

Line 11 - "Pay-for- Choice":  Ms. Henderson wondered if the fee should be $25. dollars or more.  She feels as though the district should take away sibling preference and if those students get in automatically, she had a problem with fee structure.

Discussion ensued about the fee structure and sibling preference.

Line 15 - Reduce SSNP: Ms. Henderson requested information on the revenue generated on SSNP. Cyndi Van Meter, Associate Superintendent of Curriculum and & Instruction, noted that there would be a presentation at the Board meeting in February.

Line 19 - Eliminate Year Round School Concept:  Mr. Ziegler asked if Gardendale was being counted twice in this line item.  Judy Preston, Associate Superintendent of Financial Services, stated that it is the total of both schools because it was such a unique exercise, and with most of it being transportation, that information was not included when you were talking about the closure of Gardendale. 

Mr. Ziegler noted that there is some academic benefits to the year round schedule for student. He stated if that is the case, is there enough return on investment to warrant the cut.  Dr. Binggeli explained to the Board the measure that were looked at to come to this decision.

Dr. Krupp stated his concerns about eliminating the year round school calendar. He suggested placing the district on modified year, if in fact a jump start calendar was beneficial to all our students with a cost savings.  Dr. Krupp noted that he would be willing to give up have his School Board salary to maintain Challenger 7 and GEMS.  Dr. Binggeli explained how the Jump Start program was developed.  He also mentioned that as far as putting the year round calendar at every school, that would be discussions that the Board would have to have and we would need community input. Discussion ensued about changing the school year calendar at all schools.  Dr. Binggeli stated that he would bring forth some potential options to the Board that would recover  not only cost but would address indirect costs as well.

Line 22 - Middle School Intramurals:  Mr. Ziegler commented he would like to preserve Middle School intramurals on a pay-to-play type implementation.  Dr. Binggeli stated that they will be getting with the principals to engage in further discussion.

Line 23 - Eliminate Summer Opportunities for Secondary Course or Credit Recovery: Dr. Murray pointed out that the virtual schools will help us out on this one.

Line 26 - Establish "Pay-to-Participate":  Mr. Ziegler made a point on the Sliding Scale for Free and Reduced Lunch Students.  He noted that the district will be raising prices on the free and reduce lunch program due to state mandates. Mr. Ziegler noted that with these changes, the people that can pay will end up paying for those that cannot pay and we need to be cautious that we are not penalizing some for others because of what started out as a federal program.   He suggested establishing a scholarship funds for those who cannot pay will apply for the scholarship and they are subsidized as part of their fee from fundraising for the scholarship.

Dr. Krupp asked how they district came up with such a precise number in the estimated savings column.  Dr. Beth They, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services, explained her research onhow the amount was formulated. She also noted to Mr. Ziegler's question, that there are many counties that do not charge anything for free and reduced students.

Line 34 - Closing of School:  Mr. Ziegler commented about what the community has been saying in regard to cutting schools should be considered as the last resort.  He stated that the argument that he has been telling parents is we do not care what color that the walls are, its the magic that goes on inside the classroom we need to focus on preserving.  Mr. Ziegler noted that the district should always be looking for efficiencies within the classroom.

Dr. Krupp respectfully requested to have Line 34 to be moved down to Line 55.  Ms. Henderson and Dr. Murray both stated their opinion on Dr. Krupp’s suggestion.  Dr. Krupp did not receive the support of the Board for his request.

Line 35 - Eliminate Financial Support of ACT Testing: Dr. Krupp asked why the increase in the ACT testing over the previous years. Dr. Binggeli stated that the district did have four percent more student take this ACT this year from last year. Ms. Van Meter stated that the 250,000 dollars was the amount budgeted for that line item not the expenditures.

Line 36 - Reorganization of Educational Technology: Mr. Ziegler noted that in the technology business, there is a reasonable ratio of techs to the number of pieces of equipment that they support.  He noted that the district is grossly under that ratio prior to cutting these positions.  Mr. Ziegler stated that if we are ever going to increase the amount equipment that we have, we are going to have to increase the techs to service it.

Discussion ensued about the tech specialist. Ms. Henderson brought up the fact that we did this a few years back and the principals did not like it then. Mr. Butto explained the changes.

Line 37 - One Furlough Day for all 12-month Administrators including School Board Members: Dr. Krupp stated that he was willing to offer up more than a day for him. He wondered how the staff came up with just one day, why not a week. He noted that we are always being approached by people to make donations, why not just write a donation to the school system. 

Dr. Binggeli stated that the district will do what the Board wishes but we have been able to avoid cutting employee salaries because we have great people and they work very hard in the mission. He noted that this particular employee group has paid a heavier price then any of the other groups.

Mr. Ziegler commented that if a business is too lean in administrators, you are not efficient either and it could cost the district a lot to be too lean.  He noted that you do not save money when you constantly cut administrators below a certain point and he believe that the district is near or below that point in many areas.

Line 39 Eliminate 69 Media Assistant Positions: Ms. Henderson requested a report on how the volunteering went at each of the schools as the district reduced hours for the media assistant.


Mr. Ziegler stated that since everything is on the table, he noted that the health care consultants cost 140,000 dollars per year. He stated that he has a list of reasons justifying that a lot of the services that we get from out consultants we could get a-la-carte.  Mr. Ziegler suggested cutting our consultants, saving 110,000 dollars, and leaving 30,000 in the budget for a-la-carte services.  He requested the Board support for cutting out health care consultants.

Dr. Binggeli stated that our administrative cost and our health care has been reduced below 8 percent which is well below the industry standard. He noted that we will look into this and give the Board our best recommendation.

Dr. Murray said the point is well taken, but asked Dr. Binggeli to make sure that when you look into the information, the a-la-carte does not become so out of hand that is ends up costing the district more.

Dr. Krupp asked how soon that the Board will get the information on the cost of refinancing and its percentage.  Ms. Preston stated that it would be mid January before the district would receive the report. She noted that the financial advisor was charged with giving the district as least three options.  Dr. Binggeli stated that no one should anticipate multi-million dollar windfall but we can do better.

Mr. Ziegler expanded on his position on the health care consultants. He requested that Dr. Binggeli look into the alignment of our Comp & Benefits with Risk Management, at least for insurance purposes.  Dr. Binggeli stated that there are a lot of districts that cannot match our efficiencies in our health insurance. He also noted that although the department might be under one umbrella, there might be two different providers.

Closing Remarks
5. Closing Remarks

Minutes: Chairman Dr. Murray thanked Dr. Binggeli for his presentation and the staff that have put in endless hours putting together the cut list. She feels as though it is a well rounded comprehensive list, it is a sad list but none-the-less, as difficult as it may be, things need to be done.  Dr. Murray wished everyone a happy holiday season.

6. Adjournment

Minutes: Chairman Dr. Barbara Murray adjourned the School Board Budget Workshop at 11:49 a.m.